Controversial lawyer Male Mabirizi has again rejected the court order for his arrest and threatened that any police officer who dares attempt to arrest him will face “legal consequences.”
On Tuesday, the High Court in Kampala issued an order that Mabirizi should be arrested and imprisoned for a period of 18 months for repeatedly acting in contempt of court despite several warnings.
The order for arrest and imprisonment follows a longstanding battle between Mabirizi and judges, who accuse him for using social media to continually attack them.
Now, Mabirizi again rejects the ruling and sentence saying the High Court shouldn’t have proceeded to make a ruling until Court of Appeal makes a decision on his application. He insists his appeal is not defeated. The arrest orders follow the Jan 27, court ruling in which Mabirizi was ordered to pay UGX300m as fine after losing a court case filed against him by the Attorney for insulting Justice Philip Odoki using social media.
“THIS IS NOT A WARRANT OF ARREST. THEREFORE ANY @PoliceUg OFFICER WHO TAMPERS WITH MY LIBERTY WILL FACE PERSONAL LEGAL CONSEQUENCES. THE LAW REQUIRES THAT I AM ISSUED A NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE UPON REQUEST FOR A WARRANT BY KIRYOWA KIWANUKA, IF HE WISHES, IM FREE.” Mabirizi posted on Wednesday via his Twitter handle @MaleMabiriziHKK.
Mabirizi challenged the Jan 27, ruling with a Notice of Appeal against the judgment saying he was not given a fair hearing. The ruling was however followed by an application by Attorney General requesting that Mabirizi be summoned to court to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court for continued violation of a court order, even after the ruling.
In his ruling yesterday delivered in presence of Mabirizi’s lawyer Noel Nuwe Ojok, Justice Ssekaana noted that Mabirizi never presented himself nor filed any affidavits denying the accusations, even when he was summoned, and ordered for his arrest on sight to serve 18 months in civil prison.
In a video recording posted on his social media sites, Mabirizi says the ruling on Tuesday isn’t a surprise and it is a celebration on his side that finally the system has shown there’s no judiciary in Uganda.
“What happens are people just earning salary, driving vehicles and being carried around without any urge to administer Justice in the name of the people as the constitution requires them.” Mabirizi says.
In one of the videos, Mabirizi is seen continuously wiping his face with a handkerchief and saying he has been denied a fair hearing therefore he cannot be in prison without being taken through formal procedure.
“So Ssekaana, Owiny Dollo and group are using jungle law. Not even jungle law; they are breaching every principle of fair hearing. Not even an LC court can deny someone a fair hearing. So upon that, I reject that order. I have my liberty and I continue to have it.” Mabirizi says in a another recording.